Guthrie Genealogy



FAMILY LEGENDS of BRANCHES B & G:  Guthrie & Guthrie

The Story of Two Converging Guthrie Branches and their Possible Irish Roots

SOURCE: Irish Immigrants in the Land of Caanan by Kerby A. Miller, Arnold Schrier, Bruce D Boling, David N. Doyle

Perhaps one of the most potentially important findings is the story of Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee Guthrie. The harrowing tale of her capture by Indians during the attack on Hannastown is well documented, as is her petition for continuation of her husband's pension. Through these documents we learn of family connections between 2 Guthrie lines, and by examining Elizabeth's origins, perhaps discover the Irish hometown of 'Guthrie Branch B'. 

Elizabeth Guthrie was the daughter of "John Guthrie (c1720-1797) who was the youngest of 7 brothers, Covenanting Presbyterians from Londonderry City who emigrated to the American colonies. Accompanied by his wife, Mary Jane Reed, and their 6 children, John arrived in Pennsylvania colony in 1771 and moved to the colony's far western frontier, to what in 1773 became Westmoreland County. There he took up land along the Loyalhanna Creek, near the ill-fated village of Hannastown, the first county seat, where he also served as Justice of the Peace."

This source also reveals that John Guthrie is a brother to Robert Guthrie of Carlisle:

"The Guthrie family history also reveals how the last pre-revolutionary settlers from Ulster overlapped and intermingled with earlier Scotch-Irish emigrants and their American-born children on the trans-Appalachian frontier. Robert Guthrie (b.1711), John Guthrie's oldest brother and a carpenter, had come to Philadelphia in the early 1740s, and subsequently he and his descendants moved west in stages. After his arrival, Robert Guthrie lived successively in Philadelphia, Chester County, Lancaster County, and Carlisle. By the eve of the Revolution, Robert's son, James, owned a 264-acre farm on Back Creek, in Cumberland County."

Notice that Robert of Carlise is connected to the Guthries of Back Creek in this source when LRG warned that they were 2 separate groups. 

"Not until 1780 did James Guthrie join his Uncle John in Westmoreland County, where he grew wealthy through land speculations. Prior to the Revolution, however, at least two of James' children preceded him across the Alleghenies and settled in Westmoreland. There in 1784, one of James Guthrie's sons, William, would become the second husband of John Guthrie's daughter, Elizabeth the petitioner. The marriage of second cousins thus reuniting the two branches of the Guthrie family, sundered by emigration, on the banks of the Loyalhanna."

But which Robert Guthrie was John's brother? The emigration story matches that of Robert & Bridget (Dougherty) Guthrie (GFG2A - Branch E) right up to Carlisle, including the fact that Robert was a carpenter. Then the story seems to crisscross with that of Robert & (Miss Darlington) Guthrie's (GFG2A - Branch B) descendants who were the Guthries of Back Creek. A closer look at the original source material is required. 

The descendants of William Guthrie and Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee Guthrie could potentially be descendants of the same GFG2A. If both lineages are GFG2A, the next step would be to determine the identity of their common ancestor on the MD/PA tree. If they belong to a single lineage we have the documented origins of John Guthrie to explore as clues for the rest of the group. They could also be from separate unrelated Guthrie groups.

DNA TESTING NEEDED: A direct male Guthrie descended from John Guthrie (c1720-1797) & Mary Jane Reed. Update 7/2011 - Got one. He's a match!

UPDATE 7/2011: We have received DNA results on our participant who descends from John Guthrie & Jane Reed. Note too that I am now referring to her as Jane and not Mary Jane. Further evidence shows that to be the case. See 'Branch G' details. Now that we know our participant is a GFG2A march, we have a bit of a problem on our hands. The overall DNA results tell us that these lines are the same. So we have to question LRG's family groupings to verify that he got it right. In fact, there is one area for our new Branch G that he did not. We also have to look at the nitty gritty details of the DNA tests to determine whether there are specific genetic markers that are common only to Branches B & G or to those individual branches compared to the other ones. This tells us whether or not some of the branches are more recently related to each other than they are with the other branches of our group. Some traditional research on the Branch G line is necessary to verify its connecting links. It is vital to be correct about our participant being John & Jane's descendant versus the Branch B man named by LRG as an 'unconfirmed' possibility. See the newest Origin Theory - Family Legends of Branch G: The Guthries of Pitforthy

UPDATE 10/2012: Robert Guthrie of Carlisle (Branch E) shares a Pattern Marker with Branches A & H. He would not be a brother to John Guthrie of Branch G. They do share a common ancestor, but that ancestor would be no closer than a grandfather. 

UPDATE 5/2013: DNA is really a fascinating genealogical tool. Y111 DNA results show that William Guthrie & Elizabeth (Guthrie) Brownlee were both Branch G descendants. Two pattern markers have been identified in the DNA results of descendants of James Guthrie & Jeanette Wilson and Branch G John Guthrie & Jane Reed. The DOB of James & John and the shared genetic markers are highly suggestive of the fact that they were brothers. James is not Branch B at all. Recall that the 4 'sons' connected to the Branch B lineage of Robert Guthrie & Miss Darlington were grouped together by 'American Guthrie' author LRG as part of a 'hypothetical family.' James' shared genetic markers place him with Branch G. This also makes William & Elizabeth first cousins, which may also make a lot of sense if you consider Elizabeth's story, a widow returning from captivity virtually destitute after the burning of Hannastown. I can see that the marriage probably provided her with security for herself and her daughter.